Russell Lee Boggess – Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

Submitted by his loving wife, Kathleen Boggess

Born 21 November 1942 – Died 21 December 1995.

Russell enlisted in the United States Navy in December 1962. He subsequently rose to rank of E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer. He was then commissioned as an Ensign, Limited Duty Officer (LDO) in April 1979. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in August 1987.

He was the recipient of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation for service aboard the USS Coral Sea (CV-43) during the recovery of the SS Mayaguez from Cambodian forces and the evacuation of Vietnam.

He also received the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation for service aboard the USS Galveston (CLG3) during the Tet Offensive of 1968, and the Humanitarian Service Medal for service in aid of Vietnamese evacuees while serving aboard the USS Galveston (CLG3).

“This poem has a lot of meaning for me and gave me comfort when I envisioned all our family who have gone before waiting to meet Russ on the other side.”

The Ship

I am standing upon the seashore
A ship at my side spreads her white sails and
Starts for the blue ocean.
She is the object of beauty and strength
And I stand and watch her until she is just a speck of white cloud where the sea and the sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, “There, she's gone.”
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
As she was when she left my side,
And she is just as able to bear her living load to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes!” There are other eyes watching her coming,
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
“There she comes!”
And that is dying.

From “You Cannot Die” by Margaret M. Stevens

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